IFAW’s Typhoon Morakot Response


This post was filed by IFAW's Michael Booth reporting from Taiwan.

Imagine a torrential downpour that is capable of dropping 10 feet of water in less than a couple of days. Hard to imagine isn’t it? Well, lucky for us, it’s not a common occurrence. In fact, those numbers have been seen just a handful of times in recorded history! Unfortunately for Taiwan, this once-in-a-lifetime storm descended on the island the 8th of August.

With a storm this size, you quickly encounter flash-floods and mudslides that immediately impact the welfare of all living beings. Washing away roads, highways, bridges and everything on its path, the flood crippled Southern Taiwan and now 10 days after Morakot, the rescue and recovery process is only just beginning.

As far as we know, IFAW is the only international group on the ground responding to the animal’s needs - and needs there are! At the moment the President of Taiwan is under great pressure to expedite human rescue under extremely difficult conditions. Search and rescue teams have been deployed to the areas of greater devastation and are pulling people out. Sixteen black-hawk helicopters and other military helicopters are tirelessly flying from staging areas to the mountain villages that have been cut-off from the rest of the world.

We were in one such staging area last Monday in Cisuan, Kaohsiung County. A healthy congregation of humanitarian groups, volunteers and media anxiously waited for the military helicopters to touch down with more survivors. But what about their animals? What about their pets, their backyard livestock, what is their fate? That is what keeps us up at night. As far as we can tell, the majority of animals have been left behind, with little or no chance of survival.

For the past 2 days, IFAW has been visiting some of the cat and dog shelters stricken by the floods. One of the shelters has all but washed away, and now dogs tread over mud-bogged terrain, still shaken by the storm that took close to 100 of their companions. Shelter volunteers spent the next few days disposing of their carcasses and on our visit yesterday, incense was burning and Buddhist mantras played on a loop near their improvised mass grave to honor their souls. IFAWinTaiwan

The donations of our generous supporters allows us to be here, assessing the damaged areas and help source the food, water, and medical supplies that will help the animals during this time of great need. Our work continues in Taiwan to try and reach the forgotten animals of this disaster and help the damaged animal shelters get back on their feet.

To learn more about this response and IFAW’s work to help animals around the world, go to www.ifaw.org.

Comments: 2

8 years ago

If any needs, there are some web-friends will give you hands. Do not hesitate let me know, we do really like to do something for the devastation area dogs of mountain demaged villages.

8 years ago

In Taiwan local saving dogs groups are busy in rebuilding and rescuing the dogs for the private shelters. No one takes care of the dogs of the serious devastation land of mountain damaged villages.
When I watched TV and saw several dogs came down from the helicopter, I was so touched. But not so many dogs are so lucky like them, I believe many of them are still in the mountain villages. They are still loyal to their home and their missing masters. Up to now, they have nothing to eat for over ten days. Maybe some of them are sick or injured.
Only few dogs got on the helicopter just in the beginning rescue days. The other days the soldiers do not allow the rest dogs to get on the helicopters, they think maybe the dogs has an infection.
I am very concerned about the dogs and cats of damaged montain villages, because they have been alone over there since the day of the disaster. They lost their home and their master, they no food to eat. Maybe some of them are sick or injured. That push me to write the article about what I worried in my blog six days ago, and to appeal local people and groups to face this serious problem. But up to now, there is no one to answer.
Two days ago I read the newspaper to know that three members of you were here to help the animals in the devastation area, which encourage me lot.
I ask you to go to the devastation area of the damage mountain villages to rescue the dogs and cats survived the typhoon Morakot. I am so worried about them, you know that maybe they will be caught and killed by the public shelters.
There are several methods proposed by web-friends who were answering my article in my blog. I would like to let you know and do for the poor dogs and cats.
The methods are as follow:
1) set up a temporary shelter for the survived dogs and cats: to provide them food, clean drinkin g water and medical care.
2) help the dogs and cats to be recognized by their master: for example, to photo and leave their information.
3) find the caring family for the dogs or cats lost their masters: do not let them to be caught and sent to the public shelter.
4) negotiate with the army to allow the dogs and cats to get on the helicopter: do not leave them alone in the davatation area, they will die there!
Thank you to help and rescue the poor animals survived the disaster.
God bless,
Theresa Huang

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